I changed the oil, air filter, got some gas, and took it through the car wash yesterday.
I also started the first round of transmission fluid changes. I read a bunch of articles and watched some YouTube videos. Everyone seems to have their own theory on how to do this, so I took the approach that made the most sense to me.
I drained about 3 quarts of fluid (looked like used diesel oil... yuck!), topped it off with Valvoline Synthetic, started it up, let it idle for a couple minutes, then shifted it P>R>N>D>3>L, waiting 30 seconds in each gear, and then back from L to P, again waiting 30 seconds in each gear. I then took it on a drive first around the neighborhood and then out on the parkway my neighborhood empties onto. After I’d gotten my confidence up, I came to a stretch of open road I knew, I slowed, put it in sport mode and dropped the hammer. I was rewarded with pleasantly firm shifts and interesting smells. After shifting through all 4 gears, the car seems to be running much better.
Istill have the previous owners tags on it, Im going to take them back to her this week and re-register it in my name. Then I will feel comfortable driving it more and further from my house. I want to get about 100 or so miles on it and then do another trans service.
Its also still clunking in the front end, I think its either motor mounts or struts/strut seats. Probably both. I need to look into replacing those.